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Terms and Dates:

  • Summer 2020
One Time Opportunity

Cornell Affiliations:

Atkinson Center

Off-campus partner:

Environmental Defense Fund


Opportunity Description

Job Title: Vehicle Electrification Research Intern
Program/Department: Energy
Reports to: Sarah Ryan

Are you interested in exploring a career at an internationally-recognized environmental organization? By joining EDF as an Intern, you too can be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and a focus on results are a way of life. EDF’s Internship Program welcomes intellectually hungry leaders to join us, advance our work, and cultivate the skills and relationships needed for a successful career working for the environment. Alumni of our Internship Program have gone on to important leadership positions, most notably our own President, Fred Krupp. Could you be the next Fred Krupp?

EDF offers internships and fellowships for students and recent graduates in a variety of programs and departments throughout the organization. The ultimate goal of our internship and fellowship program is to provide high-quality experiences (including relevant projects and opportunities for networking) that form the foundation for any individual who is serious about pursuing an environmental career. 

Program Overview 

Transportation, already a major source of greenhouse gases (GHGs), is expected to be the largest source of new emissions through 2050. Over 80% of the growth in transportation emissions will be from modes associated with freight movement: ships, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) and aviation. MHDVs account for nearly 60% of these new emissions and are projected to rival light-duty vehicles as the largest source of transportation GHGs by 2050. Heavy transportation also results in serious air-quality impacts to human health. In 2015, 385,000 premature deaths resulted globally from air pollution associated with transportation, with on-road diesel vehicles accounting for half of this impact – by far the largest contributor.

Environmental Defense Fund’s goal is that by 2030, 30% of new MHDV sales in the U.S., Europe and China are electric, putting us on a pathway toward achieving our 2050 vision. Our initiatives have begun in New York, Los Angeles, and Houston. By partnering with commercial fleet operators in these cities and demonstrating the viability, cost-effectiveness and environmental benefits of electrifying transportation we can start to work towards this goal.

The overarching function of this internship will be to help to accelerate the uptake of MHDV from public and private fleet owners with supporting research and analytics. The position will entail researching various electric MHDV types while noting economic, environmental, and operational barriers or benefits of implementation of each vehicle type. The intern will also research case studies and document lessons learned from MHDV electrification projects. Lastly, the intern will provide analytical support and collect data throughout the summer. 

The final deliverable will be a report detailing the case studies, best practices, and how to potentially overcome barriers to electrification for different vehicle types. The intern will have the opportunity to collaborate with the team, participate on calls, attend relevant webinars and perhaps conferences, and to engage with industry stakeholders. 

Key Responsibilities - tasks will include but are not limited to:

•    Conduct extensive research on different MHD vehicle types and barriers/benefits to implementation through literature review and engaging with industry stakeholders
•    Document case studies of successful MHDV electrification scenarios and glean best practices and how they may be applied
•    Collect data and perform analysis related to our vehicle electrification efforts
•    Participate in team calls and meetings
•    Synthesize findings in a formal report at the end of the internship
•    Provide support to the team in various research and analytical capacities when needed

10 weeks during the summer

Full-time (35 hours per week)


Application Materials
Interested applicants should submit their cover letter and resume through the application portal at the link provided.